Analyzing the impact of earthquake on tourists' activity: Travel blog mining

Kayoko H. Murakami, Hidenori Kawamura, Keiji Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An intensive earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku struck the greater east Japan area on March 11, 2011. The earthquake and resulting tsunami directly affected the international inbound tourism, and the number of foreign visitors to Japan suffered a great decline compared to the previous year. One important method by which we can explore how the crisis affected the international inbound tourism is the analysis of word-of-mouth information by foreign visitors. This paper examined text data collected from a major travel blog website from April 2010 to February 2012 and investigated if there were any tendencies that could be found in the tourists' activities before and after the March 11 earthquake. It found that the number of appearances of the term "earthquake" in the blogs was related to the seismic intensity of each earthquake and aftershock. Also, there were differences in the content of nouns in the blogs posted right after the March 11 earthquake. Earthquake-related words appeared with a high TF-IDF value. However, in the blogs of the following months, Japan travel related terms appeared as topic terms in the same manner as in the blogs before the earthquake. This paper suggests that effective and prompt actions need to be taken immediately following a disaster for the reconstruction of the tourism industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Advancements in Computing Technology
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec


  • International inbound tourism
  • Text mining
  • Travel blogs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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